Oyo State Governor, ’Seyi Makinde, on Monday, reiterated that the safety of lives, property of all residents and citizens of the state is the utmost priority of his administration.
The Governor, while declaring open the 4th Quarter Army Headquarters Veteran Affairs Directorate Seminar 2021, held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, said the theme of the programme was apt, saying that the nation had reached a point where “we need the skills of all, both serving and retired.”
The Governor who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, urged the Army to reflect deeply and proffer solutions for improving national security in line with the theme of the workshop.
He observed that there was much talent among the retirees and that the workshop would do well to explore these skills and expose participants to the Nigerian values that they could take pride in.
He said: “Indeed, we need a national approach to solve the myriad of security challenges facing our dear nation at this time. While rubbing minds on harnessing the skills of retirees to solve this problem, we must spare some thoughts on how we got here.”
He further stated that all hands are needed on deck to solve the nation’s security challenges, saying: “There are many talents among the retirees, many of whom are retired but not tired and the workshop will do well to explore these skills and expose participants to the Nigerian values that they can take pride in.
“Most of these retirees are very tangible assets to sustaining national security and the workshop will help provide them with practical tools to cope with retirement and help in restoring national security.”
Makinde, who expressed gratitude to the Army authorities for choosing Oyo State as the venue for the workshop, urged them to take issues of national security so dear to their hearts.
In his opening remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, said the retirees had inherent capacities, having served for so long in the Army and having garnered experience while they were in service.
Yahaya, who was represented at the event by the Army Chief of Administration, Maj.-Gen. Usman Mohammed, noted that the veterans were closer to the society and members of the populace.
“So, we believe that organising this kind of seminar, we will be in the position to tap into their experience by learning from them and soliciting their support.
“And also getting requisite information that we think can help us to better operate within the society and understand the pulse of the conduct of our operations, even how we can carry out our operations better,” he said.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General Gold Chibuisi, in his welcome address, said the seminar was a testimony of the COAS’ determination to utilise all available skills of both serving personnel and retirees to defend Nigeria.